Friday, December 30, 2011

40 Days - Day 40





The following is from www.awakenUS.com


"“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 3:14

On this last day of our 40 day season of fasting and prayer we hope you will take the attitude of the runner Paul is describing in our verse.  Imagine that runner giving everything he had, stretching out as far as he could; breaking the tape at the finish line.  That’s how God wants us to run our “race.”

And although we’re at the end of this 40 day season (tomorrow, December 31st, is our Day of Celebration), many who have joined plan to continue this discipline of fasting and prayer throughout 2012.  And we hope you’ll press in to God even more in prayer… giving it all you have as we see many signs of an awakening beginning!"
....to continue reading click here 
 
We know that the end of the 40 Days of Prayer & Fasting isn't the end - it's the beginning of something incredible! We look forward to what is to come!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

40 Days - Day 38



 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 6:19-21 NIV

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

40 Days - Day 37



"When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.  


But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Matthew 6:16-18 NIV

Monday, December 26, 2011

40 Days - Day 36



"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.

 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 

And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 

"This, then, is how you should pray: " 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. 

'For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.



Matthew 6:5-15 NIV

Thursday, December 22, 2011

40 Days - Day 32




In Matthew 13:31, 32 Jesus put forth a parable saying, “The Kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which is indeed the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and next in it’s branches.”

He said that the Kingdom is like a very small seed that becomes very great. It reminds me of Jesus as a tiny little baby born in a stable to poor parents in the land of Israel…..a very small seed in the eyes of man. Yet that seed grew into the leader of a vast kingdom that continues to grow today throughout all the nations of the world.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His Name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end…” Isaiah 9:6, 7 When we are discouraged by what we see in our nation or in the world, we need to remind ourselves that the Kingdom of Heaven is taking over, that the “small seed” is becoming a giant tree! We can look ahead to the coming year expecting that the Kingdom of God will continue to grow. We should rejoice that we have the great privilege of being part of it! Have a blessed Christmas everybody!

- Pastor Virgil Amundson

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

40 Days - Day 31


Mary's Song


And Mary said: "My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me-- holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.  He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, even as he said to our fathers." Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.


Luke 1:46-56 NIV

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

40 Days - Day 30


Mary Visits Elizabeth




At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!"

Luke 1: 39-45 NIV

Monday, December 19, 2011

40 Days - Day 29



The Birth of Jesus Foretold


In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."  Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.  You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end." "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?" The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month.  For nothing is impossible with God."  "I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her.

Luke 1:26-38 NIV

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas in the Country - Be There!

Make plans to join us tomorrow:



Here's a look back at some of the fun we had last year!


40 Days - Day 27



40 Days of Fasting and Prayer - Imparted Righteousness



The church must understand that there is a difference between what is called “imputed righteousness” and what is “imparted righteousness.” As believers we have been given God’s gift of grace to be positioned into a “right standing” before a Holy God. It is the goodness of His character. When we totally trust God’s grace alone, we are not only forgiven for our sins, but are clothed in the righteousness of Christ. The sinless Jesus took our sins and gave us His righteousness. This is “imputed righteousness.”

What is “imparted righteousness?” Not only does God “impute” His righteousness to us, but He “imparts” His righteousness nature in us. By the enabling power of His Holy Spirit, God wants us to express or live a righteous life. It’s called RIGHT BEHAVIOR. We are to have a “right[eous]” motives - think “right[eous]” thoughts - speak “right[eous]” words - and do “right[eous]” deeds. This kind of righteousness is holiness in our character and conduct. It is expressing Jesus’ life through our life. If we live right and do what is right, we will be safe and have peace. If we are ethical in all that we do, say and think, we will enjoy protection and victory. Let us be pure, clean and right before the Lord and before others in all of our attitudes and actions. Others then can truly see that we are real people of God.

May the “imparted” righteousness of God once again reign in our hearts!

- Pastor Virgil Amundson

Friday, December 16, 2011

40 Days - Day 26





40 Days of Fasting and Prayer - For Righteousness



We have moved into our third week of our 40-day journey of fasting and prayer as we seek the Lord for a return of righteousness in our land. Isaiah prophesied concerning God’s covenant with Israel that one day in their future God would “establish them in righteousness and that oppression and fear would be far from them and no terror would come near them.” (Isaiah 54:14)

That is what we should be praying for in our own nation and in our own personal lives. We are asking God to show kindness and mercy upon us and once more “open the heavens from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness, and let the earth open, let them bring forth salvation.” (Isaiah 45:8) The word “righteousness” in this context means “to do the right thing morally and ethically.” It also includes “justness, honesty and integrity.” The word also is closely associated with “peace.” There is no question that if there is more righteousness reigning in our land and in our own lives that there would be a much greater measure of peace as well.

- Pastor Virgil Amundson

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas in the Country is Days Away

From Christmas in the Country last year...





Want more info on Christmas in the Country (December 18th)? Click here.

40 Days - Day 25


What did Jesus Do?


Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Mark 1:35 NIV

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

40 Days - Day 24





Stay the Course: Part 2
(to read Part 1, click here)



You may not believe in a personal devil or matters such as spiritual warfare, but you would be hard-pressed to establish from Scripture that this wasn’t where Jesus and the early church were coming from. I doubt that in this country we are not as conscious of the fight as were our brothers and sisters in previous generations, or even as are many Christians in so many other parts of the world today.
The important thing for now is this: spiritual warfare is not fun and games. It involves slugging it out day after day, week after week, and month after month, until finally a major victory can truthfully be claimed.
Fellow participants: I know that fasting is not as enjoyable as dinner at Applebee's or McDonalds. That’s just reality. But stay the course. Remain true to what the Holy Spirit has asked you to do. And if you haven’t joined us yet...please don’t wait any longer. Help us win a great victory in a strategic battle against the enemy right here on our home turf!

- Pastor Virgil Amundson 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

40 Days - Day 23





Stay the Course: Part 1

Pastor Myers has shared on Daniel and how he had to battle through in his prayers from the resistance of ruling spirits that were in the heavenlies over his nation. It did take 21 days before God could come to Daniel and give to him the revelation of the end times. What if Daniel had given up on his prayers thinking that God would never answer? What happens when we fast and pray and it seems that the answers are detained from coming to us? Do we give up too soon? Could there be a resistance from principalities in the heavenlies that we must overcome through persistence in continuing prayer?

Those who are experienced in warfare recognize that victories seldom come quickly or easily. In the natural wars that America has fought, we can see that some of our engagements were long conflicts that exacted huge tolls in human life. For instance, World War I lasted 4 1/2 years and cost the US over 8 million lives lost. World War II lasted 6 years and over 16 million service men died. Our war with Afghanistan started in 2001 and as of today we still are unable to declare victory.

This is why I say that those experienced in warfare recognize that victories seldom come about all that quickly or easily. This is true of spiritual warfare. Our planet is the focus of a cosmic battle between the forces of good and evil—light and darkness—God and Satan. I John 3:8 states clearly that the reason Jesus came to earth was to destroy the devil’s work. Jesus talked of a sower casting seed on the path, but then Satan coming and snatching it away so people wouldn’t believe and be saved. 

Stay tuned for part two...

- Pastor Virgil Amundson

Saturday, December 10, 2011

40 Days - Day 20




God Is Speaking to His Bride


Why do we fast together as a church? It is so important that we understand that fasting does not change God's position - it changes ours. We are the ones that as Paul said in 1 Cor 9:27 "No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize..." The bride of Christ is the body of believers. Jesus is returning for a united bride, a spotless bride. We as a body must hear the longing of our King, understand His will, and pursue His plan. Jesus is speaking to us all the time, but we live in a culture that places ourselves first and not our King.

Depriving yourself of something the flesh wants, placing yourself in a humble place and desperately crying out to the King heightens your ability to hear His voice, humility will turn the Father's heart to His children and desperation bring glory to the King. Daniel was seeking understanding when he cried out to God. His understanding of what God showed him made him a force to be reckoned with. In these desperate times we too must gain understanding and become the hands and feet of Jesus. The only thing that will change the world’s condition is the power of God. It is truly a miracle, and God has chosen us to be His instruments in that.

- Pastor Dan Slater

Friday, December 9, 2011

40 Days - Day 19

Hannah's Prayer



Then Hannah prayed and said: "My heart rejoices in the LORD; in the LORD my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance. "There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God. "Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance, for the LORD is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighed. "The bows of the warriors are broken, but those who stumbled are armed with strength. Those who were full hire themselves out for food, but those who were hungry hunger no more. She who was barren has borne seven children, but she who has had many sons pines away. "The LORD brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up. The LORD sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts. He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor. "For the foundations of the earth are the LORD's; upon them he has set the world. He will guard the feet of his saints, but the wicked will be silenced in darkness. "It is not by strength that one prevails; those who oppose the LORD will be shattered. He will thunder against them from heaven; the LORD will judge the ends of the earth. "He will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed."
1 Samuel 2:1-10 NIV

Thursday, December 8, 2011

40 Days - Day 18


Our Holiest Example

"I have set the LORD always before me:
because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved"
(Psalm 16:8).





This is the way to live. With God always before us, we shall have the noblest companionship, the holiest example, the sweetest consolation, and the mightiest influence. This must be a resolute act of the mind. "I have set," and it must be maintained as a set and settled thing. Always to have an eye to the LORD's eye and an ear for the LORD's voice--this is the right state for the godly man. His God is near him, filling the horizon of his vision, leading the way of his life, and furnishing the theme of his meditation. What vanities we should avoid, what sins we should overcome, what virtues we should exhibit, what joys we should experience if we did indeed set the LORD always before us! Why not? This is the way to be safe. The LORD being ever in our minds, we come to feel safety and certainty because of His being so near. He is at our right hand to guide and aid us; and hence we are not moved by fear, nor force, nor fraud, nor fickleness. When God stands at a man's right hand, that man is himself sure to stand. Come on, then, ye foemen of the truth! Rush against me like a furious tempest, if ye will. God upholds me. God abides with me. Whom shall I fear?
- Exerpt from Faith's Checkbook by C.H.Spurgeon

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

40 Days - Day 17


Were you able to hear Pastor Amundson's message this Sunday? If not, click on the link below to listen to the podcast:

Monday, December 5, 2011

40 Days - Day 15


O you who hear prayer, to you all men will come.  When we were overwhelmed by sins, you forgave our transgressions. Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts! We are filled with the good things of your house, of your holy temple.  You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness, O God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas,  who formed the mountains by your power, having armed yourself with strength,  who stilled the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the turmoil of the nations.

Psalm 65:2-7 NIV 

 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

40 Days - Day 14


One simple thought for today -

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
Colossians 4:2 NIV

Saturday, December 3, 2011

40 Days - Day 13



The Bible describes four major types of fasting:

A Regular Fast - Traditionally, a regular fast means refraining from eating all food. Most people still drink water or juice during a regular fast. When Jesus fasted in the desert, the Bible says, "After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry." This verse does not mention Jesus being thirsty.


A Partial Fast - This type of fast generally refers to omitting a specific meal from your diet or refraining from certain types of foods. Daniel 10:2-3 says, "At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over." In Daniel 1:12, they restricted their diet to vegetables and water: "Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink."

A Full Fast - These fasts are complete - no food and no drink. Acts 9:9 describes when Paul went on a full fast for three days following his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus: "For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything." Esther also called for this type of fast in Esther 4:15-16: "Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 'Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.'" It is recommended that this type of fast be done with extreme caution and not for extended periods of time.

A Sexual Fast - 1 Corinthians 7:3-6 says, "The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control."

Although not mentioned in the Bible, Christians today commit to fasting from other activities as well. Some give up entertainment such as TV or movies to concentrate on prayer. Others fast from sleep or another activity for a specified period of time.

Source: http://www.allaboutprayer.org/types-of-fasting-faq.htm

Thursday, December 1, 2011

40 Days - Day 11


"...We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.  O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For your sake, O my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name." 

Daniel 9:18b-19 NIV

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Announcing: 40 Days Solemn Assembly Dec. 4




The church is now well into our 40-day period of fasting and prayer since the start on November 21st.


We are praying for our nation to have a spiritual awakening and for the churches and pastors in America to humble themselves and call upon God to restore righteousness in His people.

It is imperative to humble ourselves and to break spiritual pride and self-righteousness in order for God to hear us.

This Sunday, December 4th will be a time of consecration and worship as we call for a solemn assembly from Joel chapter 1, verse 14. “Consecrate a fast, call a sacred assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord.”

It will not be a fun and games service, but a serious seeking of the Lord God to come and forgive our sins and to heal our land.

- Pastor Virgil Amundson

40 Days: Day 10 'The Feast of Purim'



In our study of Esther we discover how she exposed Haman’s sinister plot to destroy all of the Jewish people living through the 127 provinces of Persia. The evil Haman never knew that Esther was Jewish and when Mordecai (Esther’s uncle and foster father) learned of Haman’s plot to destroy the Jews, “He tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes, and went into the city wailing bitterly.”


When Esther was told what was going on, Mordecai looked to her to go into the king’s presence and to beg him for mercy and to plead for the safety of the Jewish people. Esther took it upon herself to risk her life to walk into the king’s presence uninvited with hopes that he would spare her life and grant her request.

Esther gained favor with the king and he offered to grant her any request she had up to half of the entire kingdom. It was her request that Haman be destroyed for perpetrating the assassination of the Jewish people. Haman was then hung on the same gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai to be hung on.

There were those in the provinces who did attack the Jewish people but the Jews overpowered them and defeated all of their enemies. They then celebrated two days of feasting and gladness which was called the “Days of Purim.” The Jewish people have continued down through the centuries the celebration of the “Feast of Purim.” It is a celebration in memory of the deliverance of the Jews from Haman’s plot.

My purpose for reminding you of this story of Esther is to underscore the importance that fasting and prayer played into the deliverance of the Jewish people from extinction. I’m not an expert on fasting and prayer, but I do know that when you combine these two elements, something very powerful happens.

As the tide of our nation shifts away from Christian principles and traditional values, we as God’s people are needed more than ever to restore the health of the nations. God’s people hold the keys to freedom from sin and the abundant life in Christ. It is a privilege to proclaim a time of fasting and prayer for 40 days starting last Monday and continuing through Dec. 31st. Are you on board yet to take some meals or days to fast and pray? We are not fasting for the sake of fasting but we are fasting to pray! Each meal you fast can be the time set for you to pray. We are expecting powerful things to result personally and nationally if we seriously cry out to God for His deliverance.

- Pastor Virgil Amundson

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

40 Days - Day 9


‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?’ Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers. Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high. Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for people to humble themselves?



Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed and for lying in sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the LORD? Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?



Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.

Isaiah 58:3-11  NIV



Monday, November 28, 2011

40 Days: Day 8



“Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. Who knows? He may turn and relent and leave behind a blessing— grain offerings and drink offerings for the LORD your God. Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly. Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber. Let the priests, who minister before the LORD, weep between the portico and the altar.
Joel 2:12-17 NAS

Sunday, November 27, 2011

40 Days: Day 7



Prayer and Fasting - What Does it Accomplish?


Spending time in prayer and fasting is not automatically effective in accomplishing the desires of those who fast. Fasting or no fasting, God only promises to answer our prayers when we ask according to His will. 1 John 5:14-15 tells us, "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of him." In the prophet Isaiah's time, the people grumbled that they had fasted, yet God did not answer in the way they wanted (Isaiah 58:3-4). Isaiah responded by proclaiming that the external show of fasting and prayer, without the proper heart attitude, was futile (Isaiah 58:5-9).

How can you know if you are praying and fasting according to God's will? Are you praying and fasting for things that honor and glorify God? Does the Bible clearly reveal that it is God's will for you? If we are asking for something that is not honoring to God or not God's will for our lives, God will not give what we ask for, whether we fast or not. How can we know God's will? God promises to give us wisdom when we ask. James 1:5 tells us, "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him."

Source: http://www.allaboutprayer.org/



Saturday, November 26, 2011

40 Days: Day 6



Prayer and Fasting - Required or Recommended?

The Word of God does not specifically command believers to spend time in prayer and fasting. At the same time, prayer and fasting is definitely something we should be doing. Far too often, though, the focus of prayer and fasting is on abstaining from food. Instead, the purpose of Christian fasting should be to take our eyes off the things of this world and focus our thoughts on God. Fasting should always be limited to a set time because not eating for extended periods can be damaging to the body. Fasting is not a method of punishing our bodies and it is not be used as a "dieting method" either. We are not to spend time in prayer and fasting in order to lose weight, but rather to gain a deeper fellowship with God.

By taking our eyes off the things of this world through prayer and biblical fasting, we can focus better on Christ. Matthew 6:16-18 declares, "When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

 
Source: http://www.allaboutprayer.org/

Thursday, November 24, 2011

40 Days: Day 4



Humility - Unity - Intercession

As we begin our spiritual journey of 40 days of fasting and prayer we must continue to remember our purpose. The reason for fasting is for the purpose of praying. We will be fasting to pray. Think of praying during the time that you normally would be eating your meal. We need a modern-day miracle in our nation for a spiritual awakening to take place. We all are troubled by the drift of this once great nation! The churches in our nation need to be revived with a fresh vision for the harvest during these “last days” before Christ returns to take out His people from the earth.

There are three things that will bring revival and a spiritual awakening in America. All of them start with God’s people, or believers first. There must be humility, unity, and intercession. The politicians in our nation are not going to initiate those three things. It is going to have to start in the churches of America!

Nehemiah

Just as Nehemiah humbled himself first through weeping, fasting, and praying for God to restore Jerusalem (Nehemiah 1:4) he then interceded in prayer for God to give him mercy in the sight of the king to receive his favor (vs. 11). Then, every Jew who had returned from exile in Babylon joined together as one to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. (Nehemiah chapter 3) God’s miraculous favor of provision and protection covered these people throughout their journey in building both the wall around Jerusalem and the temple of worship unto God.

40 Day Journey

As we begin our journey of fasting and prayer beginning on Monday, November 21st through December 31st, I would encourage each of you to first write down your reasons for fasting during this 40 day period. Whether you are planning to fast one meal a week, one day a week, or more, I would suggest that you write out this week, if not this afternoon, a list of reasons why you are entering this time of prayer and fasting. That list may grow as you continue in fasting. Why go to all the trouble of fasting if you can’t put into words what it is you’re concerned about?

Finally, let this be a time of joy and delight—not one of misery and anguish. We’re not interested in who can be the most abject and spiritually wretched, pathetic and pitiable. This is a privilege of showing our love for America, and for those whom we hold dear. As you write down your reasons for fasting, why don’t you also write down the commitment you believe the Lord would have you make? Everything is between you and the Lord. All of us have the privilege of being involved in a modern-day miracle.

- Pastor Virgil Amundson 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

40 Days: Day 3


Prayer and Fasting - What the Bible Says

The Old Testament law specifically required prayer and fasting for only one occasion, which was the Day of Atonement. This custom became known as "the day of fasting" (Jeremiah 36:6) or "the Fast" (Acts 27:9). Moses fasted during the 40 days and 40 nights he was on Mount Sinai receiving the law from God (Exodus 34:28). King Jehoshaphat called for a fast in all Israel when they were about to be attacked by the Moabites and Ammonites (2 Chronicles 20:3). In response to Jonah's preaching, the men of Nineveh fasted and put on sackcloth (Jonah 3:5). Prayer and fasting was often done in times of distress or trouble. David fasted when he learned that Saul and Jonathan had been killed (2 Samuel 1:12). Nehemiah had a time of prayer and fasting upon learning that Jerusalem was still in ruins (Nehemiah 1:4). Darius, the king of Persia, fasted all night after he was forced to put Daniel in the den of lions (Daniel 6:18)."

Prayer and fasting also occurs in the New Testament. Anna "worshipped night and day, fasting and praying" at the Temple (Luke 2:37). John the Baptist taught his disciples to fast (Mark 2:18). Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights before His temptation by Satan (Matthew 4:2). The church of Antioch fasted (Acts 13:2) and sent Paul and Barnabas off on their first missionary journey (Acts 13:3). Paul and Barnabas spent time in prayer and fasting for the appointment of elders in the churches (Acts 14:23).


Source: http://www.allaboutprayer.org/


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

40 Days: Day 2




Prayer and Fasting - A Definition

Prayer and fasting is defined as voluntarily going without food in order to focus on prayer and fellowship with God. Prayer and fasting often go hand in hand, but this is not always the case. You can pray without fasting, and fast without prayer. It is when these two activities are combined and dedicated to God's glory that they reach their full effectiveness. Having a dedicated time of prayer and fasting is not a way of manipulating God into doing what you desire. Rather, it is simply forcing yourself to focus and rely on God for the strength, provision, and wisdom you need.
Source: http://www.allaboutprayer.org/

Monday, November 21, 2011

40 Days: Day 1



Taking Your Concerns To A New Level

 Nehemiah 1:4 “And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven.”


Nehemiah was concerned that the Lord’s Name was not being esteemed as it should have been because his city, Jerusalem, was in ruins. The people who had returned had no way to defend themselves (Neh. 1:3) As a result, Nehemiah desired to undertake the formidable task of re-establishing civil authority in Jerusalem. Nehemiah carried a deep burden for the deplorable condition of his nation that more than once brought him to tears. In his own words he “mourned for days.” He “fasted and prayed” before the God of heaven.


I bring up this brief story of Nehemiah’s intercession for his nation because there are many of us today who carry a heavy spiritual weight of one kind or another much like Nehemiah did. Many of God’s people feel that they are under constant enemy bombardment—some are seeking assurance regarding the Lord’s thoughts about a major decision in their lives. If you have an intense desire for the Lord to show Himself sufficient in terms of meeting a pressing need, or if you have ever wondered whether there was some special way you could get God’s attention when everything else failed, then why not consider fasting?


Fasting is a means of saying, “God, I want you to know I have strong feelings about this matter.” Quite often, fasting is revealed in the Bible as a means of resolving otherwise extremely difficult cases. Didn’t Jesus Himself imply as much when His disciples questioned him as to why they couldn’t heal the boy who, when having fits, often threw himself into the fire?


I believe that our nation and its churches need a great spiritual awakening! America and our churches must humble ourselves by falling on our knees in prayer and fasting.


Why not read the 13 chapters of Nehemiah this week? But do it in the context of asking yourself whether or not we, too, need such a revival. I believe that now is a time when God Himself is challenging many of us to take our faith to a new level. Fasting and praying is one of the challenges God is now asking of us. People with extreme burdens should consider fasting. It could work miracles in your lives and if not, what a joy to know that together we went to the limits that praying affords.

- Pastor Virgil Amundson

Monday, November 14, 2011

Announcing 40 DAYS: Fasting & Prayer


Many religious leaders of this country are calling for a 40-Day fast and prayer to re-ignite the church for the harvest and to awaken our land. It is scheduled to begin on Monday, November 21st, when Christians will be asking God to bring a spiritual awakening to our Country. We also will be praying for the Kingdom of God in other places of the world including Israel and the Middle Eastern countries, and for personal burdens that you carry that have just gotten too heavy to pick up day after day. This is a time we’re asking in a concerted way for God’s help. We are asking you to participate with us.

For more information about 40 DAYS, click here.

Pastor Virgil Amundson

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Power of a Seed!


Someone told me recently of an excavation which unearthed a cache of sealed items from 4000 years ago which included some dried seeds. The seeds were taken to a horticulture center where they were planted in soil and watered. Amazingly, those seeds sprouted after being dormant for over 4000 years. God put the power of life into a seed. “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself.” (The life in the seed produces the fruit of its kind.) Genesis 1:11



I love the principle of life that is in the seed. I believe in sowing good seed. I have never questioned the ability of the seed to produce. This principle applies to prayer, to sharing God’s Word with others, and to giving in every aspect of life.


Jesus spoke of the parable of the growth of the seed in Mark 4:26-29. He said, “so is the Kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground.” The first step toward a harvest is the sowing of the seed into the ground. The seed is not for eating, but it is for sowing. God has given every one of us something that we can cast forth. Maybe its just a kind word or a gentle touch. Maybe it’s something personal or something out of your possessions or your time. We have all been given seeds to sow. Only a selfish or self-centered person is unable to release any seed for fear that they will lose what they sow. In verse 27 Jesus states that “the seed should spring and grow up.” He knows the power of the seed! It’s destiny is to grow!


My pastor friend, Rick Van Hoose told me of a man in his church who was a large farmer. The man had purchased $30,000 worth of seed. His land was flooded and all of his seed was destroyed by the flood. The man went to his bank to ask for a loan to replace the seed. The bank without hesitation gave him a check for $30,000 because they know the power of the seed!


This month of our Missions Conference we will once again witness the power of the seed. We will see and hear reports of what God has done through the seed that we have planted through the years into missionaries throughout the world. The Kingdom of God has been largely expanded through the seeds we have planted into the works done by these missionaries. I look forward to our 25th Annual World Missions Conference, October 16-19! Sow the seeds of prayer for this conference!




-Pastor Virgil Amundson

Friday, September 16, 2011

Choosing Forgiveness


See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble; and by it many be defiled.” Hebrews 12:15 (NAS)

All of us have experienced a hurtful situation in our lives that invoke painful memories. Even to think about those hurts can cause strong negative emotions. We all do our best at times to suppress our painful memories. Sometimes people will fool themselves into believing that the negative feelings will go away and stop causing pain if they just don’t think about them. This often happens in cases of divorce or in fragmented quarrels between siblings, or between parents and children.

The truth is, people can’t just choose to cut themselves off from the conflict completely, as though the event never happened or as though the other person never existed. Time can be therapeutic, but it is not true that time heals all things. Often when a bitter reaction rises up it reveals that painful experience that was lodged in the heart has sprung to life again.

You might have thought you have forgiven and forgotten. But if memories stir up another round of pain, it may be that you have merely worked hard at forgetting and forgiveness has not become complete. When forgiveness is complete, the memory of the event will no longer cause the pain.

True forgiveness must become a daily discipline in our lives. We must continually choose to forgive and go to God in prayer and allow Him to accomplish in us what we cannot truly do on our own. The Lord says to us very clearly every day “FORGIVE!” Unforgiveness is a poison. It doesn’t produce life. It brings death. “Bless the one who persecutes you.”

If we are dying because of our own unforgiveness, how are we going to bring life to anyone else? If we want someone to change from darkness to light, we are to bless them and pray for goodness to come to them.

When we forgive, we bless. We have to choose to do that. We pray blessing on the life of the one who has attacked us or hurt us, then we leave it up to God to decide what form that blessing will take. “Bless those who persecute you; bless and curse not.” Romans 12:14




- Pastor Virgil Amundson